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Cloud over mountains

YOU CAN’T LEAD REMOTE TEAMS AS THOUGH THEY’RE SITTING NEXT TO YOU

For many this may be their first experience leading remote teams and this presents a whole new set of challenges which will add stress and pressure to many individuals. It’s important to remember that a lot of people will be learning together, both managers and leaders and those being led. Most people will want to do their best and our advice all starts from one simple premise – Start by assuming trust!

THOUGHTS: Things to be aware of

  • Trust your team – they’re doing their best and want to balance their work and their obvious concerns about friends & family
  • Balance Neglect vs Overbearing – you must give clear output driven guidance as you will not be able to task manage
  • Diarize the formal stuff and have informal “check ins” to stay connected Implement regular team touch points – consider daily standups, and team huddles
  • Setting expectations – make sure your teams know when they are expected to be available to each other
  • Presence – now we are connected all the time, presence indicators can be less useful, but setting a precedent about how this is used can help
  • Overcommunicate – invest time in telling people what’s going on as you don’t have the watercooler opportunities to disseminate information
  • Do you expect your teams to be “dressed for business” on internal calls?  What is the done thing when on video calls with customers? It might be best to relax formal dress codes during this time.

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4 Comments

  1. The Corona Virus means we are trying to work in unprecedented times.

    Please allow your employees some tolerance, because they are dealing with hugely difficult circumstances, from trying to get food, to dealing with vulnerable relatives, and including fractious children.

    That means trusting folk to do what is needed, but allowing that at times life can hold us all hostage.

  2. On over communication, as a former project manager for UK FTSE companies, I found over communication to be a vital tool at all times, never mind during a crisis.

    For other project managers, I commend two sub components to you.

    Stage 1 is consultancy. Consult with your team, end customers, project sponsors, investors if need be. First Understand, then seek to be Understood. (And read Steven Covey, the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People)

    Then for phase 2, Collaborate with the same set of people as you move through delivery.

    Stuff happens in life, and following the Servant Leadership model will get you far better results than banging the table and taking your frustrations out on your team.

    Give them credit, they likely worked hard, and try not to blame folk for mistakes, we are all human, we all do it.

    When stuff goes wrong, work with people to allow them time for both their work and their private lives, in these unprecedented COVID-19 times …

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